Renaming Domain Name windows 2008 r2

ASAP I must do an Domain Rename procedure of our infrastructure based on Windows Server.
At this moment we've 2 DC one 2008 R2 and one 2003, at the end of the rename procedure we'll resign a 2003 replacing it with an 2008 R2.

I downloaded all the technet's documents about it but I need your experience or better the "experiences experienced" from whom made it before!

For more detail I explained my infrastructure:

2 Servers Esxi 4.01 VmWare
2 DC - 1 2008 R2 and 1 2003
15 Servers Members 2003/2008R2 - 5 with SQLServer (2005) (physical and virtual)
5 Linux Server (Centos)
500 Clients  - Xp and 7
Of These clients about 70% are in 30 branch office connected to the headquarter with static routing, all the clients coming here for the validating procedures.

Well, it could be a Mission Impossibile??

Thanks a lot and best regards
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SandeshdubeyConnect With a Mentor Senior Server EngineerCommented:
I will not recommend to perform domain rename as the risk level is high.Instead you can create new domain and perform migration which is safe and already suggested above.If you want to migrate user from one domain to new domain using ADMT tool you need to create trust relationship between two domain.

You need to understand nuances of ADMT and its working before you actually taken on migration production env.Also, its much better if you can simulate in a lab environment for successful result. I have below link which might help you to understand this. Start from reading ADMT guide first.

ADMT Guide: Migrating and Restructuring Active Directory Domains

Mike KlineConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Not mission impossible but you will have to test and get a feel for it in the lab.  Jorge has a great blog with links to a lot of  resources

Are you running any applications listed in this TechNet article

Why do you need to rename your domain?


stefanop67Author Commented:
Thanks Mike!
The first and foremost issue is that we will be entering in a regional structure where we'll be an authentication node.
All the new Organization worked in Windows infrastructure, with 10 differents forest/domain, all of these will be trusted and our domain name has an underscore in NetBios Name (xxx_xx.lan)!!
Is a very old problem that we carry!
So now I want/would adjust.
I'll read the Jorge's blog.
In fact this is the second time that I make an Domain rename procedure, the first one is been 7/8 years ago when i migrated a domain from NT 4.0 to windows server 2003.
That time it went well but the structure was less complicated.
I was "terrified" about the clients, that some problems does not allow the connection to the server!

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Mike KlineCommented:
The migration from NT to 2003 was a bit different because it sounds like you migrated and that is another option here.  You could build a new domain/forest and migrate your objects to that.

I've never done a domain rename in production only in a lab...but in a lab everything works.  You could build a small lab with a few workstations, servers, and DCs and try the domain rename.


Will SzymkowskiSenior Solution ArchitectCommented:
I would take a look at the below article as it illustrates all of the details that you need to take into consideration when changing the domain name. DNS will be highly important factor and ensuring that the new Zone is created and working accordingly.

Another thng you will want to highly test is Exchange. Changing the domain name can cause Exchange to not work if it is not done correctly. You will need to take in account for Exchange services like Autodiscover, EWS, ActiveSync, OWA etc.

stefanop67Author Commented:
Another option that I keep in view is Migrating in a new domain.
So if someone has suggestion is welcome!!
stefanop67Author Commented:
No was domain rename with migration!
Mike KlineCommented:
wow both projects at once
stefanop67Author Commented:
Actually is similar to a domain rename! we made it with an external server and at the end of the procedure only the 2003 server was alive, but like I said before was more simple because the number of clients was less and all of them were located in the same network.

What do you think about create a new domain,
trust it with the other one
take alive the main
migrate a group of clients from one to the new one
and at the end close the first!

Do you think that the AD can be more clean in this way and, first of all, I can move clients from one to the other and if something goes wrong I've a Parachute!!!!
Will SzymkowskiConnect With a Mentor Senior Solution ArchitectCommented:
As you have discribed above, creating a new Forest and then Forest Trust between the 2 domains would be acceptable. You do not want to compromise anything in the current domain and if you are moving objects to the new Forest you can test functionality with a few test objects to see if this works.

Simply changing the domain name in a production environment IMO is not something i would recommend, as there are too many possibilities of things to go wrong as you have Exchange/SQL or other 3rd party apps that rely on the FQDN of the current domain.


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